Friday, 12 January 2018

Examined Life - Judith Butler & Sunaura Taylor

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Include Me Out, Dave Beech

This piece by Dave Beech from 2008 has been very helpful to think through the ethics of the invitation to participate.

Include Me Out, Dave Beech

"...... participation always involves a specific invitation and a specific formation of the participant’s subjectivity, even when the artist asks them simply to be themselves. The critique of participation must release us from the grip of the simple binary logic which opposes participation to exclusion and passivity. If participation entails its own forms of limitations on the participant, then the simple binary needs to be replaced with a constellation of overlapping economies of agency, control, self-determination and power..."

"One way of getting a handle on the limitations and constraints imposed on the participant is to contrast participation with collaboration. It is the shortfall between participation and collaboration that leads to perennial questions about the degree of choice, control and agency of the participant. Is participation always voluntary? Are all participants equal and are they equal with the artist? How can participation involve co-authorship rather than some attenuated and localised content? The rhetoric of participation often conflates participation with collaboration to head off such questions. Collaborators, however, are distinct from participants insofar as they share authorial rights over the artwork that permit them, among other things, to make fundamental decisions about the key structural features of the work. That is, collaborators have rights that are withheld from participants. Participants relate to artists in many ways, including the anthropological, managerial, philanthropic, journalistic, convivial and other modes. The distinction between them remains." Dave Beech

Yvonne Rainer's No Manifesto Reconsidered